After a two-week private visit to France, President Bola Tinubu, on Tuesday night, returned to Nigeria, setting up an emergency meeting to discuss food security.
AgroNigeria gathered that the presidential jet, NAF 001, touched down at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 9 pm.
The President was received by top government officials, including his Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, George Akume; National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, among others.
It should be noted that this trip was Tinubu’s third to France and his 14th foreign visit since he assumed office eight months ago.
However, he returned amid protests in some states over the rising food and living costs.
On Monday through Tuesday, angry youths and women took to the streets of Minna, the Niger State capital and Kano to protest what they described as the rising cost of living in the country. Similar protests also erupted in Ondo State, Nigeria’s South-West
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Muhammed Idris, on Tuesday, said Tinubu had directed immediate interventions to alleviate the suffering and forestall a further breakdown in security.
The minister disclosed this after a meeting of the Special Presidential Committee on Emergency Food Intervention, chaired by the President’s Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
In a press briefing, Mohammed told journalists: “It is a special presidential committee to address the issue of food shortage or lack of enough food on the table of most Nigerians.
“What I will tell Nigerians is that the President has directed that the government needs to step in to stem this tide. The government will not fold its arms and see how Nigerians are suffering regarding the availability of these food items.
“So, I want to plead with you to understand the government. By the time these meetings are concluded, we’ll be able to issue a definite statement on the government’s position in this regard. But all I can say is that discussions are ongoing, and very soon, a solution is in sight for Nigerians.”
While arguing that Nigeria was in no shortage of food, Idris said the Federal Government was in talks with millers and major commodity traders to avail more supply, thereby reducing the price of some commodities.
“The government is also talking to major millers and major commodity traders, also to see what is available in their stores, to open it up so the government will provide some intervention, discuss with them, provide some intervention to make this food available to Nigerians.
“What the government is noticing is that actually there is still food in this country. Some people are taking advantage of the situation, especially because of the depreciation in the value of our currency, which has led to the cost of these food items also going up.
“So, all these issues were discussed…the National Security Adviser was there because this also has some national security implications. All these have been discussed,” the minister explained.